The accelerated phase of industrialisation and urbanisation in recent decades has inevitably brought about changes in the lifestyle of Malaysians. Changes in dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles are known to be associated with changes in health and increased prevalence of chronic diseases in the population. The objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the link between demographic variables and food consumption patterns related to the nutrition transition in Malaysia. This review uses various reports and publications from several ministries and selected local studies. The statistics compiled over the last two decades have shown that as the population achieves affluence, intakes of calories, fats and sugars increase, which may account for the substantial increase in food importation bills over the same period. Similarly, the rapid growth of the fast food industry during the last decade has added another dimension to the change in food consumption patterns of Malaysians. With the exception of a study on adolescents, the prevalences of overweight and obesity in children and adults are not strictly comparable due to the difference in body mass index (BMI) cut-off points in children and the study protocol in adults, and hence should not be misinterpreted as trends. The recent recommendation to lower the BMI cut-off points for Asians would only increase the magnitude of the existing prevalence among adults. The need to promote healthy nutrition for the population must be pursued vigorously, as the escalation of nutrition-related chronic degenerative diseases – once an urban phenomenon – has now spread to the rural population at an alarming rate. This paper indicates that the problem is real and needs urgent attention because it may be just the tip of the iceberg.